Ontario Provides Additional Protection for Retirement Home Residents and Staff
March 15, 2021
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $30 million to help the retirement home sector cover COVID-19 related costs such as hiring, training and testing additional staff, and sanitizing residences and purchasing supplies to prevent and contain the spread of infection. This funding is in addition to the $30.9 million that the province provided retirement homes earlier in the pandemic. "Retirement home operators are working tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents and staff safe," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Our government's additional funding will enable retirement homes to purchase more critical supplies like PPE, products to carry out deep cleaning, or to support more on-site testing to help further prevent and contain outbreaks." Ontario has more than 770 licensed retirement homes and many are run by small operators who urgently need the government's support to deal with rising costs related to fighting COVID-19. Ontario's retirement homes have been working cooperatively with public health officials across the province to ensure best practices are being followed to prevent and control COVID-19 and to help get residents and staff vaccinated. "The safety and protection of the seniors who live in our communities and the staff who provide their care are our number one priority," said Cathy Hecimovich, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA). "We are grateful to work with a government that recognizes the vital role retirement communities play in Ontario's continuum of care for seniors. Thank you for your continued support of the retirement community sector as we work together to keep Ontario's seniors safe." Under the leadership of General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, Ontario's three-phase vaccination plan is making steady progress. To date over 56,000 residents and over 23,000 workers in retirement homes have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and of them over 35,000 residents and 15,000 staff have received both doses. "Our priority since the start of the pandemic has been clear - protecting people's health. That means ensuring retirement home operators and staff have the resources they need to keep people safe," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. "Making sure our seniors are protected and cared for is part of our plan to do whatever is necessary to defeat COVID-19."
Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. On March 24, the government will release the 2021 Ontario Budget. It will focus on protecting people's health, with a plan to defeat COVID-19, and support for people and jobs.
Ontario has more than 770 retirement homes with capacity to house more than 66,000 residents.
Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65 - older adults are the province's fastest growing demographic.